At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for "sustainable development" - meeting our needs while ensuring that we leave a healthy and viable world for future generations. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The Convention on Biological Diversity was inspired by the world community's growing commitment to sustainable development. It represents a dramatic step forward in the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

The CBD entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives:

  1. To conserve biological diversity
  2. To use biological diversity in a sustainable way 
  3. To share the benefits of biological diversity fairly and equitably

The Conference of the Parties (COP) has established seven thematic programs of work which correspond to some of the major biomes on the planet. Each program establishes a vision for, and basic principles to guide future work. These programs are: Agricultural Biodiversity, Dry and Sub-humid Lands Biodiversity, Forest Biodiversity, Inland Waters Biodiversity, Island Biodiversity, Marine and Coastal Biodiversity and Mountain.

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